The King. Forgive me--but don't you think it was just the want of an object in his life
that led your father to push his theories too far?--an object outside himself, I mean?
Clara. Perhaps. If my mother had lived--. (Stops.)
The King. --he might have taken it differently; don't you think so?
Clara. I have sometimes thought so. (A pause.)
The King. How still it is! Not a sound!
Clara. Yes, there is the fountain.
The King. That is true; but one ends by hardly hearing a continuous sound like that.
Clara. There is a tremulousness in that too. (Looks round her.)
The King. What are you looking for?
Clara. It is time to look for the Baroness.
The King. She is up on that slope. Shall I call her? Or--perhaps you would like to see a
The King. Then let us go up to her together! (They go.)
(SCENE. An open place in the town. It is evening, and the square is badly lit. On the
right is the club, a large building, standing alone; lights are shining from all its windows.
Steps lead from the door, above which is a balcony. The square is full of people. In the
background, standing on the lowest step of the pedestal of an equestrian statue, is a
BALLAD SINGER, singing to the accompaniment of his guitar. Cigars, oranges, and
other wares are being sold by hawkers. The singer's voice is heard before the curtain
rises. The crowd gradually joins him in the refrain which he repeats after each verse of
The Ballad Singer (sings).
The Princeling begged and begged and begged
Her love, on bended knee.